When I made my reservations to fly from the U.S. to Asia back in March, I had a few different options on how to get there. In all cases, leaving from Washington D.C., I had to transit somewhere to get to Singapore. Options included New York, London, Dubai, Tokyo, etc.
The New York option would have been nostalgic as I would have taken the same 19-hour flight I took back in 2004 to start my international career. The London option split up the journey and gave me 12 hours in London – a place I know well and where many of my friends from business school live. I’d also get to fly in an Airbus A380 for the first time.
I picked the London option.
My schedule didn’t seem too tight at first – meeting a friend for lunch at 12:30pm, an interview with BusinessBecause.com at 2pm, meeting my business school’s representative at 3:30pm, dinner with a group of friends from business school at 6pm, then catch the Tube back to the airport at 7:30pm for my 10pm flight to Singapore.
In the end, I was literally running from place to place.
Lunch With A Friend
Lunch with my friend was fantastic. I hadn’t seen her since January 2011 when I last came to London. As I wrote about earlier this year, it was very disappointing to miss her wedding in January. I thought I’d be able to make it, but it didn’t work out.
We had a great conversation, though it was just way too short. I lived with her and three other Peruvians in Spain during business school. But I spoke hardly any Spanish and we always spoke English. Great for them to practice, but detrimental for my quest to learn Spanish. It was really nice to finally have a conversation with her in her language.
Interview With BusinessBecause.com
I had an interview with BusinessBecause.com. They cover news related to the MBA world and seem to have a soft spot for CSR. They had actually written to me months earlier to do an interview, but they wrote me via LinkedIn and I never check my LinkedIn account.
I was really happy we connected properly this time and we’d be able to do the interview in person.
My interviewer was Ifeatu and we had a great conversation about what I’m doing, what she’s doing and hopes to accomplish, and life in general. Our interview took place in a very picturesque setting along the banks of the Thames with Big Ben, the London Eye, and other notable landmarks all nearby.
Here is the resulting article.
Meeting The IE Representative In London
My alma mater, IE Business School, has been behind me and my trip from the start. Each place I go they do their best to put me in touch with local people doing amazing things.
Sally and I went to a nearby Spanish tapas place and sat outside and chatted. She graduated the year before me at IE so our time did overlap for a month or two in Madrid. But, unfortunately, I never met her there.
We had a nice conversation and I’m really glad we got to meet up.
However, while we talked I realized I forgot my smartphone!
Rescuing My Smartphone
My smartphone is my go-to resource on the road. As you can see, it’s composed of a very stupid phone, which I had with me, and a red pocket-sized notebook that I left at the BusinessBecause.com interview. Oops!
Luckily, I had enough time to run back to their offices on the way to having dinner with my friends. Had this not happened, it wouldn’t have felt as rushed as it was. But going to retrieve it took less time than it would take to write down all my notes for Singapore again. Plus, it’s my smartphone and it’s handy!
Dinner With Friends
Before heading to Singapore, I had the good fortune of having dinner with some friends from business school.
One of them was actually just in town temporarily on business, so that was a complete surprise.
There were quite a few others who couldn’t make it since I had to make it “relatively” early, at 6pm, so I could rush to the airport to catch my flight at 10pm.
Still, a wonderful time had by all and I’m so happy I got to see them all!
It was seriously a crazy day. But I got to meet up with people I care about, share my story with the BusinessBecause.com audience, and meet some new people. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I’m happy I had the opportunity as it is.
I have done the touristy things in London before, but I had hoped to at least get a picture with Big Ben. As a result of forgetting my smartphone, I didn’t have time to make that happen. But here’s a picture I took on the way to the Tube after retrieving my smartphone.